Local Guides & Tips

Top 5 Spring Mountain Bike Destinations

Monument Valley

Spring Mountain Biking

You know it’s spring in Utah when your Instabook feeds start turning shades of red rock. It’s that special time of year when the local’s start coming out of hibernation to flee the slush and muck in exchange for slickrock and sunshine. To help make the most out of your mud season, we’ve compiled with the help of our friends over at Storm Cycles, a few favorite spring mountain bike destinations that are half-days drive or less from Park City. If your favorite trail or spot didn’t make the cut, be sure and leave a comment below and let us know.


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1. Moab, UT

Travel Time from Park City – 4 Hours

This one’s a no-brainer. Moab needs no introduction and was recently declared mountain biking capital of the USA by singletracks.com. Lucky for us, it’s a short 4 hour drive away, making it perfect for a weekend escape or extended vacation.

Moab Magnificent 7 Trails

What Storm Says About Moab:

Moab offers a totally different riding experience from anywhere else in the world. It’s desert technical riding at it’s finest – and it continues to get even better with recent additions such as Captain Ahab and the Mag 7 network. Top-notch trails, with something for every skill level, combined with breathtaking views is what Moab is all about.


Moab Travel Tips:

If you’re getting out of town on a Friday afternoon, traffic in Provo can often be a mess. In such cases, take HWY 40 to 191 throuch Duchesne. Also, obey all speed and traffic laws through Helper, Price, & Wellington. City Weekly named this stretch of road “The Best Place to get a Full-Body Cavity Search” a few years back.

Must Rides in Moab:

Whole Enchilada/Porcupine Rim
Captain Ahab
Gold Bar/Portal
Navajo Rocks

Moab Beginner & Family Trails:

Intrepid Loop at Dead Horse State Park, Bar M Trails

Moab Local Bike Shops:

Poison Spider
Chilli Pepper Bikes

Where to Camp in Moab:

Sand Flats Recreation Area, Dead Horse State Park, Horsethief Campgrounds

Best Spot for Food & Beers in Moab:

Milt’s Stop & Eat
Luv Muffin Cafe
Quesadilla Mobilla

Roadside Attractions & Detours:

Balance Rock Cafe, Price
Taco Truck, Green River
Ray’s, Green River

For more on Moab, check out our Local’s Guide to Riding Moab


Favorite Moab Bike: The Pivot Switchblade

Storm Cycles is Park City’s Pivot dealer. Stop by the shop and check out the Pivot Switchblade for yourself! Read More about the Switchblade on Pivot Cycles.

Pivot Switchblade

2. Hurricane/Gooseberry Mesa, UT

Travel Time from Park City – 4.5 Hours to Hurricane, 5+ to Gooseberry Mesa

The Redbull Rampage put Virgin, Utah on the map, and while this part of the state often get’s overlooked in favor of Moab, it is equally worthy of praise. Gooseberry Mesa is the most well known trail system, however be sure to venture off the mesa for more world-class riding.

Gooseberry Mesa

What Storm Says About Hurricane/Gooseberry:

When everyone’s headed to Moab, we head to Gooseberry! While it doesn’t have the same “scene” as Moab, there is just as much quality riding to be had in the southwest corner of the state. Plus, when the weather is uncooperative at higher elevations, great riding can be had just a short drive away in St. George.

Gooseberry/Hurricane Travel Tips:

The road up to the mesa can be sketchy depending on recent weather activity. Be sure to check the forecast and don’t attempt the drive up in inclement weather. While the road is passable on a good day in a 2WD passenger car, we’d recommend something with decent clearance as there are a few hairy cattle-guards.

Gooseberry/Hurricane Must Rides:

Gooseberry Mesa / North & South Rim, Hidden Canyon
Little Creek
JEM Trail

Gooseberry/Hurricane Beginner & Family Trails

Cryptobionic, More Cowbell

Gooseberry/Hurricane Local Bike Shops:

Over The Edge – Hurricane
Zion Cycles – Springdale

Where to Camp in Gooseberry/Hurricane:

On Gooseberry Mesa

Best Spot for Food & Beers in Hurricane:

You’re in Warren Jeffs Country – BYOB!

Roadside Attractions & Detours:

River Rock Roasting Co, La Verkin – One of the best decks in Utah!
Kolob Canyon
Arshell’s Diner, Beaver


Favorite Gooseberry Bike: The Yeti SB5.5

Storm Cycles is Park City’s Yeti dealer. Stop by the shop and check out the SB5.5 for yourself! Read More about the SB5.5 on Yeti Cycles.

Yeti SB5.5

3. Fruita & Grand Junction, CO

Travel Time from Park City – 4.5 Hours

Fruita is a perfect example of how mountain biking can revitalize a town. A once run-down cowtown, it’s now become a destination for Colorado’s Western Slope thanks largely to mountain biking trail building efforts. With Grand Junction as it’s neighbor to the east, there is more than enough riding to keep you occupied and coming back for more.

Horsethief Bench Drop-in

What Storm Says About Fruita:

It’s hard to beat the mellow vibe that permeates the funky little of Fruita. While 18 Road is a great place to setup a basecamp, there are phenomenal trails to be had a little further to the east in Grand Junction and Palisade, especially if you’re in the mood for more challenging and technical riding than what’s at 18 Road.


Fruita Travel Tips:

There’s two things Colorado has an abundance of that Utah does not. Stock up on ’em both while your across state lines 😉

Fruita & Grand Junction Must Rides:

Mary’s Loop (Horsethief Bench)
18 Road – Zippity Doo Da, Joe’s Ridge & PBR
Lunch Loop’s / Holy Cross

Fruita & Grand Junction Beginner & Family Rides

Kessel Run

Fruita Local Bike Shops:

Over The Edge – Fruita

Where to Camp in Fruita:

18 Road

Best Spot for Food & Beers in Fruita

Hot Tomato (favorite pizza place west of the Mississippi!)

Roadside Attractions & Detours

Palisade Brewing
Peach Street Distillers


Favorite Fruita Bike: The Trek Remedy

Storm Cycles is Park City’s Trek dealer. Stop by the shop and check out the Trek Remedy for yourself! Read More about the Remedy on Trek Bikes.

Trek Remedy

4. Las Vegas, NV

Travel Time from Park City – 6.5 Hours

Bet you didn’t see that one coming… However, there’s more to Sin City than the strip. Just outside of town, you’ll find numerous trail systems as well as Red Canyon Recreation Area that pairs stunning red rock desert landscapes against the Vegas city skyline for a one-of-a-kind view. Additionally, you can pair a trip to Vegas with a stop in Hurricane (though we’d highly recommend before!) for an extended weekend trip.

Las Vegas Mountain Biking

What Storm Says About Las Vegas:

Vegas has an abundance of outdoor recreation minutes from the strip. Additionally, it can be ridden most of the winter when elsewhere is either too wet or snowed in.


Las Vegas Must Rides:

Cowboy Trails – Bunny, Bob Gnarly (Advanced)
Bootleg Canyon
SW Ridge Trail (See photos and read trail report on Bermstyle)

Las Vegas Beginner & Family Rides:

Beginners & families best stay in Hurricane 😉

Las Vegas Local Bike Shops:

Las Vegas Cyclery

Where to Camp in Las Vegas:

Red Canyon Recreation Area Campground

Best Spot for Food & Beers:

Take your pick…

Roadside Attractions & Detours:

The Vegas Strip
Lake Mead


Favorite Vegas Bike: The Trek Remedy

Storm Cycles is Park City’s Trek dealer. Stop by the shop and check out the Trek Remedy for yourself! Read More about the Remedy on Trek Bikes.

Trek Remedy

5. Vernal, UT

Travel Time from Park City – 2.5 Hours

I’m just going to start off by saying that Vernal is not in the same class as any of the above destinations. There are no epic views or trails that are going to make any top ten lists. However, with that said, it is a nice option with some decent riding for those just looking to get away for a night or two when it’s too cold or muddy to ride in the Wasatch. Some even make this a day trip.

Vernal, UT

What Storm Says About Vernal:

Under 3 hours from Park City, Vernal is a great spot for getting a “quick fix.” It’s low key vibe and accessible trailside camping also make it a great option for families looking for an easy weekend getaway.


Vernal Travel Tips:

My favorite way to ride Vernal is to arrive just before sundown, setup camp, and head off on a night ride. Wake up, have breakfast, ride, and return home.

Vernal Must Rides:

McCoy Flats Trails – Fire Sale/Retail Sale
Jazz Chromoly

Vernal Beginner & Family Rides

Got Milk & Cookies

Vernal Local Bike Shops:

Altitude Cycles

Where to Camp in Vernal

McCoy Flats

Best Spot for Food & Beers:

Vernal Brewing

Roadside Attractions & Detours:

If it’s dry, check out the Strawberry Narrows Trail on the way out or back.

For more on Vernal, check out our McCoy Flats Weekend Adventure


Favorite Vernal Bike: The Trek Stache

Storm Cycles is Park City’s Trek dealer. Stop by the shop and check out the Trek Stache for yourself! Read More about the Stache on Trek Bikes.

Trek Stache

Honorable Mention:

Sedona, AZ

Travel Time from Park City – 9 Hours

Sedona is hands down one of our favorite destinations. Pair Moab-level trail quality with National Park-like views, and you get world-class mountain biking. However, at just over 9 hours of travel time from Park City, it’s a bit too far to consider a weekend destination. Nevertheless, if you can snag some vacation time, be sure and check it out.

Sedona, AZ

What Storm Says About Sedona:

Sedona is one of our favorite places to ride in the spring! There are a great variety of both technical and flow trails and the scenery is unbeatable.


Sedona Travel Tips:

For a truly epic MTB road trip, create a loop that combines Hurricane, Sedona, & Moab all in one trip!

Sedona Must Rides:

Highline Trail
Hangover Trail
Slim Shady

Sedona Local Bike Shops:

Bike & Bean
Over The Edge Sedona

Where to Camp in Sedona:

West Sedona Desert

Best Spots for Food & Beers:

Oak Creek Brewing Company

Roadside Attractions & Detours:

Bryce Canyon National Park
Horseshoe Bend
Monument Valley
Lake Powell

For more on Sedona, check out our Sedona MTB Adventure Photo Essay.


Favorite Sedona Bike: The Yeti SB5+

Storm Cycles is Park City’s Yeti dealer. Stop by the shop and check out the SB5+ for yourself! Read More about the SB5+ on Yeti Cycles.

Yeti SB5+

Print

Sponsored by Storm Cycles

Shop for cycling gear while supporting your local bike shop. When you spend money with Storm, you’re putting dollars back into the community which in turn creates additional trails and resources.

About the author

Alex

Alex is a designer by trade & mid-grade adventurer by night who’s quite partial to knobby tired bikes, clean design, & dirty hands. When not updating this silly website, he's likely off exploring the nearby hills with a few of his favorite partners in crime.

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